Tunisia hosts FAO conference on improving water productivity in agriculture

Source: Xinhua| 2019-12-05 01:28:58|Editor: yan

TUNIS, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) — Tunisian capital hosted on Wednesday the Regional Conference on Improving Water Productivity in Agriculture in the Near East and North Africa (NENA) region, Tunis Afrique Presse (TAP) reported.

The three-day conference was launched and inaugurated by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Many researchers, young innovators, policy makers and experts in the scientific field attended the conference to discuss the status of water productivity in the region, the challenges facing the agricultural sector and the available solutions.

The conference is the first meeting of the “Collaborative Platform on Water Productivity” of the regional Initiative on Water Scarcity for the NENA region.

“No other region has been as affected by desertification as the NENA region,” TAP quoted Philippe Ankers, subregional coordinator for North Africa and FAO representative in Tunisia, as saying.

According to Ankers, it will be necessary to act quickly to meet the triple challenge of sustainable management of water, climate change, food security and nutrition.

The FAO representative called on experts, policy makers and young innovators to contribute effectively “to the way that we use water in the short, medium and long term,” hoping that the collaborative platform created by FAO could facilitate this process.

Through this event, the participants will have the opportunity to discuss how improving water productivity would be able to boost sustainability in the agricultural sector and economic growth, and how would this continue in maintaining social stability and protecting the environment in rural and urban areas.

Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.